Archive for the ‘Others' Work’ Category

There is a very cool post over at a blog called Design*Sponge on Art Nouveau monograms designed in 1908 by Paul Starke. The images on the post come from a book called Modern Monogramme by Starke. The images below have just been copied from the Design*Sponge post.


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I am a designer, and not a painter. Or an illustrator for that matter. Well, I’m not trained as an illustrator, however, in this contemporary world of ours, I feel that designers are often called upon to fulfill the role of illustrator/painter, and vice versa as well. Many of the best posters I have seen have a combination of illustration with good use of type, or photo with type, or a combination of all three—concert posters, as well as posters for art exhibitions, galleries, and other artistic means fall heavily into this category. Likewise, many of the best design pieces I have seen at school use a combination of good concept, good layout/type/design, and good hand-done illustration. Often, painters create some of the most beautiful “graphic designs.” Continue Reading »

I visited the Museum of Modern Art on January 7th, with my girlfriend, Anna, because she really wanted to see the new Tim Burton show. Yes, it was interesting, and yes, it was incredibly crowded; the entirety of the exhibit plus the people viewing it was a huge fire hazard. After we left the Burton show, I saw a few signs flitting about pointing upstairs to a Bauhaus show—this greatly piqued my interests, so I proceeded to convince Anna that the upstairs show was going to be incredibly awesome, and she followed.

Unsurprisingly, I found that the Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity show was indeed awesome. Continue Reading »

It was 9:15 PM, on Wednesday, September 30th, and I was with senior thesis student, Allie Bajew, at her studio in the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. The assignment was to interview each other as artists and students, while referencing each other’s past works. We went about this by looking over each other’s pieces first, and then getting into the interviewing. Here is the resulting dialogue (with physical actions displayed in italics):

Rohan Mitra: So, uh… should we start?

Allie Bajew: Um, sure.

RM: Alright. So, do you know what you’re interested in? Or do you have a specific purpose or direction that you are going in with your work?

AB: Well, I have certain things that I like and I just try focusing on those themes. A constant theme are bunnies and ghosts.

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RM: Haha, yeah, I can tell.

AB: Heh, yeah, I use a lot of children’s illustrations.

RM: Uh huh. Do you try and use children’s illustrations to show something dark or something more… lighthearted? It seems more lighthearted than dark.

AB: I use ghosts and stuff like that, but they’re not scary.

RM: Nothing comes out as overtly gothic. There is a lot of texture, or rather, a play between texture and flatness. For instance, there’s texture here, but the ghosts are still flat. And even the houses here—they have these faces that are really flat. It seems like a lot of your stuff has that going on.

AB: The thing is that, I almost never use backgrounds. It’s usually just a figure and then open space, and the collages help me with that since its like, instant background.

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from emory douglas's 'the black panther'

At the New Museum, one exhibition really stood out to me far beyond the others: Emory Douglas’s litho prints. They were bright and dynamic, and shared the revolutionary aesthetic of Communist propaganda prints from the 30’s and 40’s, which in turn are heavily influenced by the flat, Japanese, Ukiyo-e prints dating back to the 17th century. As seen in my previous blog entries, I am very interested in D.I.Y., revolutionary culture, as seen in today’s stencil and paste-up graffiti (see Shepard Fairey’s work), the punk culture of the late 70’s and early 80’s, and clearly, as seen by Douglas’s work, the Civil Rights Movement. Douglas’s juxtapositions of photographic imagery to bold color and text create very in-your-face, dynamic compositions.

The only drawback to Emory Douglas’s exhibit had nothing to do with the work itself, but rather, the way it was displayed. I would have much rather seen a number of prints stacked above one another, displayed on one wall at once, with a few select prints being shown by themselves—”by themselves” meaning having ample wall space surrounding the image, separating it from the next—instead of each small piece shown one after another after another, on and on. It seemed never-ending.

As for the rest of the museum: Rigo 23’s stairwell was cool, with a lot of shock value, however, it seemed to me to only be shock value; David Goldblatt’s images were very evocative of struggle and I quite liked how each image really paid a delicate attention to the often small, fine details in the foreground; Dorothy Iannone’s pieces made me uncomfortable—not because of the eroticism in the work, but because she openly uses Indian and East-Asian aesthetics to show off her pornography. Iannone’s use of a “primitivist” art style and culture that is clearly not her own, or has anything to do with her, made her seem exploitative and colonialist.

Well, that about sums it up. I had a decent time.

-rgm